Are we better than our fore father

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Are we better than our fore father

The Wall Street Journal: May 24, On Memorial Day we think of those who served. In Juneyears ago, Gen. He was quiet, considered shy, twice widowed, and from a family of fighters. Now and then something broke through his composure: He was eventually based in Southern California, where his quartermaster, Winfield Scott Hancock, became his close friend.

Armistead was seven years older and from Virginia, while Hancock was from Pennsylvania, but they had much in common. Hancock had also attended West Point, though he graduated. Both had served in the Mexican War, both been lauded for gallantry and promoted to higher rank.

Hancock was humorous and liked to paint. Years later, in his memoirs, Ulysses S. His genial disposition made him friends, and his personal courage and his presence with his command in the thickest of the fight won him the confidence of troops serving under him. Army had to decide where they stood.

Hancock stood firm with the Union; Armistead went with the Confederacy. You can never know what this has cost me. Two years into the war, Gettysburg. Armistead heard Hancock was there and asked Longstreet if he might see him.

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Sure, said Longstreet, if you can find his position, get a flag of truce and go on over. This was not completely unheard of in that war: Opposing officers would find each other in field glasses and wave hello or tip their hats.

Armistead was one of Maj. Lee judged the Union army to be reinforced on the wings but soft in the center. That center was a long sloping field leading to a clump of trees at a ridge.

He would send in 15, men and split the Union lines. It would be hard—a mile uphill, over open ground, with Union artillery trained on them behind a low stone wall.

But the Confederate artillery would smash the Union artillery before the charge commenced. It was of course one of the epic miscalculations in modern military history. At some point Armistead heard who was up there waiting at the stone wall. It was the Second Corps.

It was led by Win Hancock. The charge began, Armistead led his brigade out of the woods and onto the field.

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Are we better than our fore father

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